What’s on the menu at Slowhand Pizza, a new east-end spot for thick-crust sourdough pies

What’s on the menu at Slowhand Pizza, a new east-end spot for thick-crust sourdough pies

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Name: Slowhand Pizza
Contact: 99 Pape Ave., slowhandpizza.ambassador.ai, @slowhandpizza
Neighbourhood: Leslieville
Owners: Brett Feeley and Daniel Ewing
Chef: Brett Feeley
Seating: 10 indoors, 40 outdoors
Accessibility: Not accessible

The food

This is the first standalone kitchen for Slowhand, a pandemic success story that started as a pop-up running out of an east-end home in 2020. The pies regularly sold out, so Feeley and Ewing moved the operation into Gerrard St. Bakery last June. They outgrew that space, too, and decided to look for their own brick-and-mortar location, which they found and took over in December. Slowhand takes cues from Detroit’s deep-dish tradition and Sicily’s focaccia-like crusts, but ultimately lands in its own category.

Pizza pals Dan (left) and Brett, in their new kitchen

A long fermentation process yields a thick crust that’s still light and airy. Cheese is spread all the way to the corners, which gives each pie a golden, crispy crown along the edges, and since each rectangular pie is cut in fours, every piece is a corner trimmed with that beautiful frico.

Toppings are simple and high-quality, with thoughtful touches like house-made chorizo and silky parmesan cream sauce. The layer of toppings is shallower than a deep-dish, though liberally adorned with garnishes: a dusting of cilantro lime crema here, a drizzle of infused garlic-thyme oil there…

See that lacy cheese along the side? That’s the money. The outside of every slice tastes like the best part of a grilled cheese, when the cheesy inside topples out and crisps up on contact with a hot pan.

 

They don’t call it the Double Trouble for nothing: look at all those perfect little cups of pepperoni. This is a pre-garnish shot: the finished pie is also topped with fresh basil, pecorino, and Sicilian oregano.

 

And here’s the finished product. Remember how the massive thick-crust pizzas of childhood birthday parties always had that gross gummy layer between the sauce and crust? You won’t find that here, because Slowhand parbakes the crusts before saucing and topping them. $19.

 

For the Peter Piper, pepperoni and pickled jalapeño peppers are finished with cracked black pepper and a drizzle of Mike’s hot honey. Out of the oven, it gets more pepper and honey along with pillowy dollops of ricotta and an herbaceous sprinkle of Sicilian oregano. $19.

 

The Fungus Amongus (yes, Incubus fans, every pizza on this menu is a music reference) is rich and earthy with parmesan cream sauce, a bunch of button mushrooms, pecorino and garlic thyme-infused olive oil.

 

It’s finished with parsley. $18.
Nothing wrong with a classic cheese pizza—especially when it’s dressed with a vibrant nothing-but-tomato sauce and finished with pecorino, basil and olive oil. To learn the simple, barely embellished delights of crispy frico and fluffy, airy crust, there’s no better choice. $17.

 

The delightfully named Mushaboom, topped with pepperoni and mushrooms, is garnished with pecorino and oregano. $18.

 

One of Slowhand’s rotating specials, the El Ranchero is a zesty party of roasted and chili-dusted sweet corn, house-made chorizo and blistered shishito peppers garnished with cilantro, feta, and cilantro-lime cream. $18.

 

Fun fact: it usually goes that one in every 10 shishito peppers is spicy

 

Pro tip: you can ask for a drizzle of this on any pizza, or get a small dipping cup of it for an extra $2.

 

Part of the current lineup

 

The drinks

There’s your regular lineup of soft drinks alongside nostalgic favourites like Tahitian Treat, Pop Shoppe cream soda and root beer, hard-to-find Topo Chico and sugar cane–sweetened Mexican Coke. Slowhand is waiting on its liquor license, at which point it hopes to partner with local producers to offer beer and spirits.

The space

The room, which offers a small number of seats, is pretty minimalist in design, with the exception of a sweet mural by local artist Justin Broadbent that depicts brand-related concepts in a dizzying abstract. See if you can spot the Colosseum, Detroit smokestacks, a mushroom and a creative rendering of Trevor.